Sunday, November 13, 2005

Regrouping and Controversy

ORN: November 11, 12, 13: REST and recovery

OK, I've made the decision to take a shot at the Goofy challenge of running the Walt Disney Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. But, I'm also at the end of a long training and traveling season. So, I took three days off, and now I'm ready to get started again.

CONTROVERSY: Some of you may have heard about this. Apparently, a small group of runners from the much LARGER group called Jean's Marines cut the Marine Corps Marathon course in order to beat the bridge closing. They've been busted and asked to give back their medals.

I understand the concern. No one should cut a course short. But, the truth is that had they NOT made the bridge closing they would have been bused to the other side of the bridge and allowed to finish AND get a medal. In that case, they STILL wouldn't have covered the entired distance.

My heart really goes out to the entire Jean's Marines organization. They are doing wonderful things for many, MANY people. This seems to have been an error in judgement. But, knowing Bob and Jean, I'm sure it was done without malice. Their only goal is to help their participants achieve the goal of finishing a marathon.

I hope the dust settles quickly on this.

If you have thoughts about the topic, please share.

Thanks.

John

10 comments:

William said...

I heard a little about it. The thing is, I don't know the course, but I could see a case where they may have been trying to be proactive about finishing. Maybe they didn't know the rules, about the bus or that it was that big a deal for citizen class.

Then again, only those that cover 26.2 ON FOOT, should get a medal.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I was always under the impression that if you didn't make the cutoff, you got the bus back the rest of the way and no medal.However, I searched their website and could not find anything to confirm this.

Being a slow poke runner who works hard to finish races and go the full distance, I think its wrong to get a medal not rightfully earned. But that's just my 2 cents.

Jilly said...

I can't get right about cutting the course.

However, so much prep goes into running a marathon, it's a shame to have the ability to finish on foot removed since it's not a qualifying race, and slower runners are allowed to pay the entry fee and run.

I wonder if they could consider an earlier start for slower paces, or changing the route so the bridge invovlement is done sooner.

Where would people politely squawk about alternatives for the race route committee to consider?

Capitalguy01 said...

Do the distance.. get the medal. If you don't you shouldn't. Thats one of the challenges of completing the marathon or even a 5k race. Why wouldn't they go in a marathon that allows for slow pokes like myself to finish, instead of one with strict cut off times?

Dukemom said...

Okay -- as someone who is slow and works hard to get every medal I get, I resent it when I find out about those who cut courses off. For my very first marathon I trained with a group and one of the runners was much slower than everyone else (even me!). When the times were posted, she finished a good 20 minutes ahead of me... how did that happen as I passed her and never saw her again. This was a smaller marathon and if you know the course, you could find several places to "cheat" the distance as they can't possibly post marshalls at every intersection. That's what she did - and it burned me up that she got the same medal as I did, especially since I was hurting bad and had the fleeting thought that it would be so easy to cut through here and "no one" would know (except myself of course and I knew I'd never be able to live with myself). It's not right and they should have to return their medals - not to mention the damage done to the group they were running for/with.

WADDLER26.2 said...

When running Chicago last year,I was worried about getting to the finish before the course closed and heard of a way to cut off near Chinatown. I just couldn't do it and feel right about taking a medal. If it is clear about the cut-off time and you know ahead and realize what happens if you don't make it you should not get the medal. Look at the Ironman and the girl with one leg who missed the cutoff at the bike by 10 minutes. How sad but it is a chance you take. I am very slow and always try to find a race I know I can make it in time

Lily said...

I ran/walked MCM and I had the same concern about Beating the Bridge. The website is NOT clear about the bus picking up stragglers. It's only on the course map. The official program didn't mention it either. However, the website also makes NO mention that you would be disqualified if you did not beat the bridge. I relied on this. While I understand why Jean's Marines went off the official course, I also believe that the medals should be taken away. The group should have faith in themselves and in MCM to provide a solution. Semper Fidelis.

Lily said...

I ran/walked MCM and I had the same concern about Beating the Bridge. The website is NOT clear about the bus picking up stragglers. It's only on the course map. The official program didn't mention it either. However, the website also makes NO mention that you would be disqualified if you did not beat the bridge. I relied on this. While I understand why Jean's Marines went off the official course, I also believe that the medals should be taken away. The group should have faith in themselves and in MCM to provide a solution. Semper Fidelis.

Hikoushi said...

I believe in fairness and second chances so I propose this; offer the culprits a choice, return the Medals or.... complete Basic training in the Marine Corps. That's reasonable ya think?

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